Terra de Promissio “Land of Promise" is a family owned and operated vineyard dedicated to growing Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir grapes for multiple premium wineries including: Castello di amorosa, Domaine Della, dutcher crossing, Friedeman,Gary Ferrall, HANZELL VINEYARDS, LAND OF PROMISE, macrostie, Metzker Family, SENSES, SOLISTE, Spell Estate and Williams Selyem
Charles and Diana Karren are both very passionate about growing grapes. It has been their dream to plant, manage and raise a family on the vineyard. Their story together began in 1998 when they met on the Caspian Sea. After a year of dating, Charles proposed to Diana in 1999 at the Temple of Bacchus in Baalbek, Lebanon. She said Yes! And afterwards, Charles and Diana celebrated at the famed Chateau Kefraya in the Bekaa Valley.
Upon returning to the United States, Charles and Diana began their search for their land. They had looked at over 100 sites in Napa and Sonoma when they came across a beautiful 53-acre ranch, overlooking the town of Petaluma. The ranch was on two rolling hills, had the right soil profile and fresh water from a well. Most importantly, the hills faced southwest, which would get both the sun exposure and the wind and fog of the Petaluma Gap. All these characteristics are ideal for cool climate style Pinot Noir grapes.
When Diana saw the ranch, she told Charles:
"This is it! This is the land we have been praying about!"
Charles and Diana acquired the property on the eve of the Millennium and named the vineyard Terra de Promissio—“Land of Promise”
"we chose the name Terra de Promissio because as farmers, the land is about the "promise". The promise that every new season brings the possibility AND the hope of a bountiful harvest."
"and as we were both born, have lived and worked overseas, It is the promise of AMERICA AND the American Dream. We very much appreciate what this country represents. America is truly the land of promise and we are grateful for the freedom,liberty and opportunities that these united states offers to all of us."
Charles and Diana oversaw the planting 33,000 vines in 2002. During that summer, they bought a used trailer and then brought Diana’s Dad and sister Alina from Russia to help manage the vineyard. Diana's Mom helped with the new baby who was also born in 2002. Terra de Promissio had its first harvest in 2005 and sold to 3 wineries. In 2007, after renting a house in Petaluma, they converted a barn into a home and moved to the vineyard full time. In 2012 and 2013, they planted an additional 18,000 vines to bring the total planted acreage of Terra de Promissio to 50 acres. In 2016, the vineyard had its 12th harvest and sold fruit to 13 wineries. Since day one, every row and block is custom farmed per each winemakers specific instructions.
"As a family run and operated vineyard, as well as our home, we are strong believers in being God’s stewards of this land and custodians of its future. We employ hands-on sustainable farming practices that not only produce the finest Pinot Noir grapes, but also ensure the livelihood of the environment for us, our son and daughter, and the generations that will follow them. Terra de Promissio does not belong to us, we belong to it…"
Charles Karren was born in London and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Diana Karren was born in the Former Soviet Union and is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Although neither of them had any formal training in managing a vineyard, they were blessed to have great role models as both sets of parents grew grapes as hobbies. Charles' parents--Howard and Margaret grew grapes on Sonoma Mountain in Glen Ellen and Diana's parents--Vadim and Sanya in Russia.
Together, Charles, Diana, their two children, Christian and Grace, and Diana’s parents, Vadim and Sanya, live in a converted barn on Terra de Promissio. Percy also lives in the barn--but you can read more of his story below.
percy, "the best vineyard dog in the world!"
We did not adopt Percy, Percy adopted us. It was August 1, 2011, when we first spotted this dog on Ely Road near Petaluma. Living on the vineyard, one must always be cautious about unknown animals--especially stray dogs. It was clear that this dog had been abandoned and we would later learn, abused as well. Sonoma County and the City of Petaluma spent the next two weeks trying to trap this dog. Then, on August 11th, this dog looking tired, thirsty and hungry came thru our open gate and parked himself near our barn. Diana's Mom then put out a bowl of water and some Russian leftovers. He ate it all and then slept in her vegetable garden that night. As we did not want him to get cold at night, we then put out some blankets and put a tent over where he was sleeping. He slept there for a week.
Our then 8 year old Christian named him Percy--after the book he was reading at the time. But Percy was still very reluctant to have any humans get near him. He was very scared. We bought a leash and a collar and Christian said: "Mom & Dad, I can get close to him and put the collar on him. He likes me--I can tell." We reluctantly agreed. Christian's plan worked. Christian, got close to Percy and he rolled over to have his tummy rubbed. Christian petted him and he then put the collar and leash on. We then immediately took him to the vet to get checked out and all his shots.
He came home from the vet and has been with us ever since. We even gave him his own dedicated room where he has a window to watch over the vineyard. He is not only literally our eyes and ears on the vineyard, he is our eyes and ears for everything. His favorite thing to do is to accompany us and the winemakers as we work and inspect the vineyard. Nothing makes him happier than to walk among the vines. And he is Christian's and Grace's best friend as well. We are truly blessed to have him as part of the family. He is the best vineyard dog in the world.